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Circuit Riders: Constitutions: U.S. & State

Basic Legal Research Training

The preamble and Article I of the Constitution of the United States.


The United States Constitution is the "supreme law of the land" and no laws, state or federal, may violate it.
Each state has its own constitution. South Carolina laws may not conflict with the South Carolina Constitution or the United States Constitution.

The United States Constitution

An online version of the Constitution of the United States of America, annotated with analysis and interpretation by the U.S. Supreme Court, is available on the website. This online "Constitution Annotated" is free, easy to navigate, and updated regularly by the Library of Congress. 

You can also view the Constitution of the United States and read about its creation and ratification on the website for the National Archives.

There are two print annotated versions of the United States Code — U.S.C.A., published by West Publishing and  U.S.C.S., published by LexisNexis. Both include volumes of the text of the United States Constitution annotated with cases interpreting its provisions. Both are also available through subscriptions to Westlaw (U.S.C.A.) and LexisNexis (U.S.C.S.), respectively.

The South Carolina Constitution

Constitution volume of South Carolina Code Annotated; contains both SC and United States Constitutions

The print South Carolina Code Annotated includes a Constitution volume that contains the text of both the South Carolina Constitution and the United States Constitution. Both constitutions are annotated with summaries and citations for South Carolina cases that have interpreted individual constitutional provisions. 

Both constitutions are indexed in the general A-I and J-Z subject indexes for the South Carolina Code Annotated. There is also an index at the end of the Constitution volume.


The annotated South Carolina and U.S. Constitutions are available online through subscriptions to Westlaw and LexisNexis.

 un-annotated South Carolina Constitution is accessible for free through the South Carolina Legislature website, which also provides a link to access the United States Constitution through the U.S. Senate's website

Other State Constitutions

Map of the United States.



Several sites on the free web provide links for all state constitutions and laws. 

Two examples are Cornell University’s Legal Information Institute’s Listing by Jurisdiction and FindLaw’s U.S. Codes and Statutes page.